Robin Hood: Origins has already cast its hero, sidekick, and main villain. Kingsman: The Secret Service star Taron Egerton is onboard for his newest leading role as the legendary English folk hero, while Jamie Foxx is set to play trusted sidekick Little John. The reboot has also filled key roles like Ben Mendelsohn as the Sheriff of Nottingham and Eve Hewson as Maid Marian.
Friar Tuck, however, was one notable supporting role in Robin Hood: Origins that took a little longer to be officially cast. The search for one of the hero’s most trusted companions is over – and Lionsgate Films is betting big on a relatively unproven name on the big screen.
According to THR, Robin Hood: Origins has cast Tim Minchin as the latest incarnation of Friar Tuck. Minchin is better known for his TV and stage work, having appeared as Atticus Fetch in Californication and stage productions of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and Jesus Christ Superstar. His only film credit is 2008 Australian production Two Fists, One Heart. Before getting into acting, Minchin became internationally famous for his live musical comedy shows.
Minchin follows Mark Addy (Game of Thrones) in 2010’s Robin Hood as the latest cinematic portrayal of Friar Tuck, who could play a key role in the titular hero’s narrative. Addy’s performance as Tuck followed a common depiction of the character as a portly, jovial friar with an affinity for ale. As a younger version of Tuck in Robin Hood: Origins, Minchin has the potential to be a departure from that version of the character – but his comedic stylings make him likely to be more of a comic relief character.
Lionsgate took their time in casting the role of Friar Tuck compared to others, which is a sign that they really wanted to get it right. It’s likely that Minchin takes a backseat to Egerton, Foxx, and Mendelsohn in terms of screen time and significance to the story, but Friar Tuck is a popular and well-known character in the Robin Hood universe and needs to be memorable to do the story justice. If Minchin’s portrayal of Tuck in Robin Hood: Origins is in any way similar to his character on Californication, he certainly has a chance to grab your attention.
It’s possible that the Friar Tuck depicted in Robin Hood: Origins is simply going to be a younger version of the same indulgent crony depicted in so many other Robin Hood tales. There’s also a chance that Minchin’s version of Tuck is simply an extension of Atticus Fetch from Californication. The success of Friar Tuck in Robin Hood: Origins may ultimately come down to how he is written, but Minchin’s portrayal of the character will be one to watch closely.